Title: Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Available On: PlayStation 4
Developer: Vicarious Visions, Naughty Dog
Official Site: Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Release Date: June 30, 2017
Where to Buy: PlayStation Store, Retailers
Aside from the Mario on the SNES, Crash Bandicoot is the first gaming memory I have and he is still near and dear to my heart. At E3 2016, when the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy was announced, it was easily my favorite announcement. Now that it is finally here, as a lifelong fan of the series, I can tell you that is it good. Very, very difficult, but so, so good!
For those of you who have no idea what or who Crash Bandicoot is, let me give you a little background. This crazy bandicoot was created by Sony when the PlayStation first came out to be the mascot for the new system. Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot: Warped are the first three (and by far, the best) games that focus on Crash. Basically, you’re a genetically mutated bandicoot on the search for purple crystals. You’ll make your way through levels and bosses crashing through boxes, collecting wumpas, and spinning away enemies. All in all, it’s a classic platformer through and through.
To fans of the series who haven’t picked the remaster up yet, stop what you’re doing to go and grab it. The best thing about Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is how it just feels like a Crash Bandicoot game. From certain camera angles to the graphics to the music and sound design, Vicarious Visions did this right. Anyone who hopes to work on a remake anytime soon should really take a page from their book because they did all of the right things.
Graphically, the game looks amazing. Everything is super bright, clear, and colorful while still staying true to the original. This is true for the sound design and gameplay mechanics as well. It is so well done that Vicarious Visions almost made this remake look easy to do. However, despite the love and high praise the remastered Crash Bandicoot is receiving, there is one major complaint across the board: the game is super difficult.
As the game began, I couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear; it felt and looked so right. However, my joy quickly turned to anger as I started the “Native Fortress” level in Crash Bandicoot for what felt like the hundredth time. And don’t even get me started on “The High Road” or “Road to Nowhere”. The Crash Bandicoot of our childhood was much more forgiving than its remaster. It wasn’t long before the internet was exploding with frustration trying to get through these levels. The gaming community as a whole felt somewhat better about their platforming skills when Vicarious announced some changes they had to make.
So, why is the game so difficult? Long story short, Vicarious Visions had to start from scratch (which in the end, only makes the remaster even more amazing). The code for the original games didn’t exist anymore, so the hitboxes took on a new shape. This new shape made it easier for Crash to slip off of ledges, and therefore, taking away some of the forward momentum the Crash fans were used to in our childhood. If you want a more in depth explanation, Gus Sorola and Adam Ellis from Rooster Teeth made a video explaining these changes.
Some have even gone as far to compare the remaster to things like Dark Souls and Bloodborne. To be honest, despite my frustrations, I actually enjoyed the tougher difficulty. The higher difficulty almost made me feel like Crash Bandicoot had grown up with me; that the game I loved and enjoyed so much as a child had evolved into something that would challenge me as an adult.
All in all, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is something that fans, new and old, should look into picking up. All the quirky charm that is the Crash Bandicoot franchise has survived the many years it has been in the dark. This fresh revival of an old favorite is something that the platforming genre desperately needed, and I believe that fans of all ages will continue to enjoy it for years to come. And who knows? Maybe the success of the trilogy this will even warrant a new Crash Bandicoot title sometime in the near future!
Verdict: From the controls to the camera angles, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy really and truly feels like playing an old Crash Bandicoot game. However, these games are a lot tougher than you might remember from your childhood (like, scream at the television, throw your controllers kind of hard). Despite how tough it is, this remaster is just as addicting as the original Crash Bandicoot games.
- Feels like the old games
- Amazing graphics
- The game just feels good
- Great music
- It's super difficult
- Lots of loading screens